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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Posts posted by BabyBoomerBob

  1. Ah, Denny, you're bringing back memories to me! There's no doubt that you drove right by my old alma mater, the University of Miami. Sadly, I didn't have a car back then and couldn't do much exploring:( I saw plenty of Florida through the windows of buses, so I did get to see a lot of two-laners, especially in the cities and wherever the interstate hadn't been built yet.


    And then there was Betty and Johnny's, a honky-tonk way out on the Tamiami Trail. A friend of mine and I used to go there and have a brew or two. They had a juke box with Hank Williams 78's in it! Since that was over 40 years ago, I doubt if it's still there. Probably a bunch of damned condos there now:(

  2. I'll give a shot at clearing some things up.


    Delorme is wrong in a couple of places.


    State Road 131 no longer exists. It was turned over to the town of Clarksville, and is now known as Lewis and Clark Parkway. It runs east/west from I-65 to the western edge of Clarksville, where it intersects with Browns Station Way.


    Once upon a time US 31 split at Sellersburg, Indiana (9 miles north of the Ohio River) and 31-E ran south from Sellersburg, parallel to the railroad tracks, to Clarksville, and continued south on a route that is now covered by I-65. Two access roads on either side of I-65 are named Old Highway 31. I am not certain what path 31-E followed from Eastern Boulevard to the Ohio. I'll look that up and post it later.


    Ack! I missed it! Didn't go far enough. That means that I'll have to *go back again*! Well, since my hard drive crashed on me, I'll have an opportunity to retake some lost pictures. Hope I can do so sometime in the foressable future.


  3. I know this is very off topic but there's this picture, you see. :rolleyes:


    I been slowly trying to catch up with with the Penny Farthing World Tour blog from the guy (Jeff Summerfield) that Ara Gureghian (the OasisOfMySoul guy) ran across week or so ago. Today's read included what may be the ultimate "pavement ends" picture.



    I'll have to look through my slide collection. I *think* I can beat that picture:) The road comes out of a tunnel , goes a few feet and stops. A hiking trail continues from the stump. It's the road that was supposed to go along the north side of Fontana Lake in the Smokies, but never was finished.

  4. Jim,


    The Lincoln was under the interstate. Brian Butko suggested that I acknowledge that, and perhaps forgive myself my transgression :D


    I think Ivory hand soap was 99.9% pure. I'm 99.5% pure. Close enough!


    When I get home, I will post the wooden bridge just to the east. It may be more interesting than the steel bridge.


    Keep the Show on the Road!





    I really appreciate the bridge pictures, Dave. Finances are keeping me from doing much traveling, so I've been taking virtual tours of faraway places via GoogleEarth:) I've opened a folder called "Bridges Around the World" where I've been stashing every bridge picture I can find. Your pictures are going there too! I'm sure the pictures you're posting ar not any I could find on GoogleEarth:) Thanks again!

  5. They actually got roads iin nortwestern Arkansas??????????




    Alex Burr

    Memphis, TN



    Well, here I go again with another old timer memory post:) When I was living in Memphis, I went out for a day trip into southern Missouri. on the way back, I took a lesser state road south into Arkansas. When I got to the state line I found a dirt road. But it had state road signage:) The only two states I ever knew to have unpaved state roads were Georgia and Arkansas. And Georgia's gotten rid of all of theirs:)


    That was back in the early 70's and I quickly came up with a sign that would have been appropriate for that state line.










    pavement ends

  6. I'm guessing that you're passing through Eureka Springs on US-62 and US-62 is, as Michael Wallis would say "a road of my interest". It goes all the way across the country and its even number means east-west but it touches Canada and Mexico rather than Atlantic and Pacific. Like the better known US-66, it does this by angling from northeast (Niagara) to southwest (El Paso). But it does meander a bit and Eureka Springs sits on a section that runs toward the northwest. US-62 was one of the last roads I would have guessed would form part of the Hypotenuse Trail but there it is. Strange but true.


    Us 52 and 62 are both what I refer to as "cross grain" highways. 52 runs from Charleston SC to the Canadian border in ND. But 52's no Hypotenuse Trail:) Not by a sight:)



  7. Seems like early bridge builders thought narrow was the way to go - try the bridges at Cairo sometime. Turn your hair gray early.


    I've driven those bridges at Cairo:) They're narrow as all get out, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat:) The scaredest I ever was on a bridge was on the US 12 bridge across the Missouri at Mobridge, SD. The problem there was the wind! I was driving a little Mazda hatchback and I was fighting the wheel the whole way across.





    Alex Burr

    Memphis, TN


    It is too late to turn my hair gray "early." Had I realized the bridge at Vicksburg was closed, I would have crossed further north...but I'll do that next time!


    Keep the Show on the Road!




    Hmmmm. If you took US 98 pretty much the whole way you must have been in the vicinity of Perry. When I was a senior at U Miami in the spring of 1970, a bunch of us drove to Perry, hoping to get a good view of the total eclipse of the sun. Sadly, the weather was overcast, so we couldn't see the sun, but we *did* see the shadow heading our way. And coming at a right smart clip! The edge was quite clearly visible and when it came over us it got downright chilly! All the cars had to turn their lights on:) I'll never forget it.

  9. First of all, I'm sorry I haven't made any comments about this fantastic trailblazing before. I just found out about it and I have a bunch of catching up to do.


    I've heard the Everglades described as a river of grass. The vast majority is grassy wetland, the mangroves being limited to slightly higher patches of ground known as "hammocks".


    There's one piece of road you missed, and it's probably just as well you did:) There's a loop of dirt road heading off the Tamiami Trail into what had the reputation (At least when I was in Florida in the late 60's) as the most lawless place in the state. The road leads into the extreme northeastern corner of Monroe County. This corner is surrounded by Everglades NP (which has federal jurisdiction), Dade, and Collier Counties. There are vast stretches of everglades and open water between this area and the county seat...in Key West:) I have no idea if the place has been cleaned up since then, but I suspect it's still a good place for dope dealers and fugitives to hang out.


    Where a man can hide and never be found,

    And have no fear of the baying hound.

    But he'd better keep moving and don't stand still,

    If the skeeters don't get him then the gators will.


    "The Everglades", sung by the Kingston Trio


    There! I knew if I waited long enough my University of Miami education would come in handy for something besides discussing football:)

  10. Perhaps it would be better to put this off until fall. I'll need a little time beforehand to arrange taking a couple of days of vacation. But it's a big gamble. God only knows what gas prices will be like come October:( All opinions welcome.



    Since I've had no reply, I assume the trip is canceled until next fall.

  11. Glad you asked. I've been thinking of some sort of post here but just hadn't got it together. I believe this is what has transpired:


    The weekend of May 17-18 was selected and the intent was to run west to east with a stop at the Clabber Girl museum in Terre Haute. The Saturday night motel had not been selected. While the voting was taking place, another commitment came through for me that weekend and some unexpected expenses prompted the Bremers to curtail travel plans in general. With neither of us actively involved and other area residents probably held to only participating for one day, the thing lost steam. I think the last accounting had you & Susan plus Bliss & Mary Sue ready for any weekend and mobilene & Chris in for one day each.


    Well, I still can't do the 17th but could probably do another weekend in May. I believe the 10th & 11th is out because of Mother's Day and the 24th & 25th are part of Memorial Day weekend. The 3rd & 4th may be too close and apparently wasn't popular anyway but that or the 31st & 1st is all that would work for me. If you and Bliss and maybe at least another car (Chris, mobilene, Bucfan, RoadDog, mmarkley, Kip?) or so want to do one of those weekends, I'll try to do some coordination. If not, maybe as Bliss suggested, we can do it in the fall.


    P.S., I see that Pat posted while I was thinking about it. Maybe just letting this simmer until more interest builds is the better idea.


    Perhaps it would be better to put this off until fall. I'll need a little time beforehand to arrange taking a couple of days of vacation. But it's a big gamble. God only knows what gas prices will be like come October:( All opinions welcome.


  12. So we can get a better idea of the weekends that do and don't work for everyone for the Madonna 2 Madonna National Road Cruise, please use the format below in your reply if you would want to join the cruise. Just copy the dates below and change your answers to "good" for a weekend you can do it, or "bad" for a weekend that conflicts with your schedule.



    Has anything been decided for sure? Is the trip still on? Had the weekend or direction been set?

  13. So we can get a better idea of the weekends that do and don't work for everyone for the Madonna 2 Madonna National Road Cruise, please use the format below in your reply if you would want to join the cruise. Just copy the dates below and change your answers to "good" for a weekend you can do it, or "bad" for a weekend that conflicts with your schedule. The cruise will convene at the Old National Road Welcome Center in Richmond, IN at 10am ET on whichever Saturday we go with. I'll be looking at motels in the Terre Haute area for the Saturday night stop, as well as a Saturday lunch stop. Too bad The Diner in Plainfield had to close!



    Susan and I will be able to go just about any weekend except the last one in March. And either direction is groovy. There is one place I would like to visit, the Starr-Gennet Museum in Richmond, IN. Gennet Records was a well known label in the 20's and featured such artists as Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, from jazz; and country singers like Vernon Dalhart, Gene Autry and Uncle Dave Macon.

  14. Per request, a few of us discussed at various times last year doing a Spring National Road cruise. In an effort to give it a catchy name, I've come up with "Madonna 2 Madonna". Well, OK, it lacks the "WOW" factor, but I never had any marketing classes, so you'll have to forgive me.


    My thoughts the last couple of weeks are as follow. The cruise would encompass the National Road between two of the "Madonna of the Trail" monuments. Starting at the Old National Road Welcome Center Saturday morning after a hearty breakfast at a local establishment. Then we cruise west to Glen Miller Park to pay homage to the Madonna of the Trail monument. From there, we continue the journey along the National Road, making various stops along the way, with the typical lunch "somewhere". I kind of thought of making Terre Haute the overnight stop. Then on Sunday, get some grub, continue into Illinois, and end the journey with an afternoon lunch in Vandalia and visit the Madonna of the Trail monument there.


    Any suggestions for good but inexpensive motels in Richmond and Vandalia? Non-smoking section is a *must*, and TV preferred.

  15. I just posted an entry on my blog about my last trip down the Illinois National Road and how an encounter with a fellow who remembers driving the old brick road turned on their ears my nostalgic visions of life on the old road.



    It's a lot like the replacing of nearly all the old truss bridges here in Tennessee. The folks who had to drive the old bridge in Loudon were glad for the new, wider bridge. What's been lost is the aesthetics of the old spans.

  16. [

    I remember in those days while your car was parked in the lot, employees tied a sign on your bumper with bailing wire advertising the attraction. Really! It was the precursor to the bumper sticker! Since the bumper was not integrated with the body, it was easy to wire a sign to it. We didn’t remove it until we got home. It was an honored symbol of road travel!



    They used to do that at Rock City and Ruby Falls in the '50s:) MY family, however, didn't consider it an honorable symbol, but vandalism:(

  17. What if we do it 2 weeks later? Anybody unable then?



    Sorry I haven't put in my two cents before now, but my hard drive crashed and I'm just now getting back up to speed. Sad to say, I lost nearly all of my photos from last year:( All I can salvage are the ones I posted to Webshots and a few from the local fair which I gave to my brother.


    Anyway, we're going to do out best to make this year's cruise. We're pretty open about the timing, although May would be preferable. Maybe we'll have Georgie-Porgie's tax rebate by then:) Richmond, IN is an easy day's drive from us, and we could probably make it home from Vandalia in one day, but we'd have to take the (gasp!) interstate:)


    So at least for now, count us in.

  18. Once again, I'm running quite late, but this is par for the course for me:) And also once again, my photos are at http://community.webshots.com/user/babyboomerbob

    in the Miscellaneous Ramblings folder.


    Once I left Columbus my idea was to follow Ohio SR 304 to Portsmouth. Looking at a map I could imagine it as old US 23, but now I'm not so sure. The state road runs on the other side of the Scioto River and misses all the towns. Well, whether it's old 23 or not, it was a peaceful road.


    My only photo stop was in Chilocothe. < Chilocothe 01-09>. Lots of neat old architecture like I have come to expect from midwest towns. I quickly learned that it was the original state capitol <Chilocothe 04, 05>. I snapped pictures right and left and then headed south, looking for a place for lunch.


    Just below town, I found the South Bridge Diner, a place presumably named for a bridge crossing the Scioto River I has passed earlier. <South Bridge Diner 01-04> The interior was decorated with lots of replica signs, but I got the idea that the building itself had been around a while.


    The rest of the drive to Maysville was pretty uneventful. I picked up US 52 and crossed the Ohio on the Simon Kenton Bridge and arrived at Kevin Redden's place.


    Kevin told me about an ice cream place in Augusta, KY that he wanted to check out. Sadly, when we got there, it was out of business:( We wound up taking some more ghost sign pictures and eating at a nice Italian restaurant. <Augusta, KY 01-03>


    Next day, we drove around Maysville, getting more pictures downtown...The refurbished opera house, more ghost signs, and a couple of new murals on the flood wall. <Maysville 01-06>


    I had called Denny Gibson the night before and made arrangements to meet him in Ripley, Ohio. We had both been to the Rockin' Robin Soda Shop, but we finally went there together:) Kevin got a picture of the two of us, but for some reason I looked like I'd been sucking on a lemon, so I posted the picture of Kevin and Denny instead:) <Rockin' Robin's Soda Shop>


    After lunch, the three of us drove to Augusta, crossing the river on the Augusta Ferry. There was a bit of traffic on the river, a big barge crossing in front of us. The ferry operator timed it so we wouldn't have to take evasive action:) <Augusta Ferry, River Traffic>


    There was a small fall festival going on when we arrived, but there wasn't much there, so we just wandered around taking pictures of whatever looked interesting. I'll let my pictures do the talking here:) <Augusta 04-18>


    When I left for home, Kevin came with me. We decided to spend a little time in Lexington, as I really didn't have time to stop and get pictures of downtown when I had done my DHE trip. But first, we stopped on the north side of town, heading west on Mercer Road from US 25, to find the Dixie Cup Factory and its groovy water tower:) <Lexington, KY 01>


    On down US 25 through town then back to follow the northbound part of the Dixie where all the neat stuff is. First stop, Thoroughbred Park, a tribute to the majesty that is the race horse. Numerous bronze equine statues capture the grace and power of these mighty creatures. There are also a lot of plaques commemorating people who have contributed to make horse racing what it is today. <Lexington 02-07>


    We parked near the old courthouse and wandered around for quite a while. We soon found out the courthouse was now a museum and tourism center. It was Sunday and the place was closed, but we took pictures of whatever took our fancy. The big surprise, IMHO, was a Uneeda Biscuit ghost sign. Googling brings up other such ghost signs, but it;s the first I've ever seen.< Lexington 08-15>


    One final stop for gas in London, KY netted this picture of an old car up on top of a roof:) <London, KY>


    While Kevin visited us, I took him over to Sequatchie Valley to see the coke ovens, driving down I-75, then west on TN SR 30 across Walden's Ridge and down US 127 to Dunlap. On the way, we dropped by the courthouse in Dayton where the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial" took place. <Rhea County Courthouse> Down in the basement is a museum that I didn't even know about, all about the notorious trial. I talked to the proprietor there and he said the main reason for holding the trial in Dayton was to create publicity. Dayton was in hard times and needed an economic boost. Scopes volunteered to be the guinea pig, although he was only a substitute teacher and never taught evolution in the classroom. He mentioned evolution to some students outside the school so he could say he *had* taught it. All a big setup:) <Dayton TN Courthouse 02-07>


    When we got to the coke ovens, the #$@%&$ museum was closed again:( Their web page says to call to get museum hours. Maybe I'll have to try some weekend when they're having a bluegrass concert. Oh well...


    We drove back up US 127 to Pikeville and had lunch at the Rockhouse Cafe. Kevin took a picture of Susan and me there:) <Rockhouse Cafe>


    We continued north on US 127 until we got to Homestead. There we turned SE on TN SR 68 to Grassy Cove. Grassy Cove is much like a number of mountain coves in the area, with one big difference. All the streams drain underground, making it, at 8 miles X 3 miles, America's largest sinkhole. The sump has been traced with dye to the headwaters of the Sequatchie River. Given a few million years, erosion will make the cove part of Sequatchie Valley.


    The cove is practically unspoiled, with scattered farmhouses and lots of open fields. May it ever so remain. <Grassy Cove 01-09>


    Our final sortie with Keven was down to Etowah, TN for lunch at the Talk of the Town Eatery. Etowah is a town that, until recently, managed to sneak under my radar:) But thanks to a new railroad tour along the line toward the Copper Basin Region, the town is booming and putting on a pretty face. <Etowah, TN 01.>


    The big attraction there is the old depot which now houses a museum and Chamber of Commerce.

    <Etowah Depot 01-03> Etowah was always a railroad town and was a terminus for a line bringing copper (and later sulfuric acid) from the copper mines to the southeast. With the copper and acid played out, the line has been restored for tourist travel, the big feature being the "pigtail" curve up Bald Mountain <Etowah Depot 02>.


    Now as for <Etowah Depot 04>, who's this character? Oh, just some hobo who'd been riding the rods and was hitting us up for a handout:)


    But the main attraction for us was the Talk of the Town, a delightfully retro place to eat. Once again, I think I'll let my pictures do the talking:)

    <Talk of the Town 01-12>



    After lunch, we wandered around, getting a few final pictures. <Etowah, TN 02-05> We headed back home and Kevin caught a bus for Lexington the next day.


    One final comment. The pictures from Grassy Cove and Etowah were taken on several different trips. I'm sure Denny will recognize the Christmas ornaments at the Talk of the Town since they were up when we got together there:)

  19. Back in October, I took off some time to go visit a couple of friends of mine. This is the road trip part of that vacation. Once again, my photos are at http://community.webshots.com/user/babyboomerbob under the Miscellaneous Ramblings folder.


    My original intention was to set out fairly early, get to Cincinnati at lunch time, then follow the DHE north to Vandalia, OH, then head east on the National Road to Columbus. Unfortunately, I had some major problems with the van, so I had to unload everything and put it in Susan's Saturn, which she graciously let me take.


    I wound up taking US 22 out of Cincinnati for a bit. My first stop was Morrow, a town most famous for having a silly song written about it years ago. "Said I, "My friend, I'd like to go to Morrow and return, no later than tomorrow, for I haven't time to burn"":) <Morrow 01-04> I found the old railroad bridge there particularly nice. It's been preserved and is now part of a long bicycle trail.


    Wilmington, OH was a pleasant surprise with lots of neat old architecture I've come to hope for in small towns. <Wilmington 01-07> I did a search on the General Denver Hotel and found out that General James William Denver was one of the area's most illustrious citizens. He was a hero of the Mexican and Civil Wars, Governor of Kansas, legislator from Colorado, and the man Denver CO was named for. By this time it was getting a bit late, so I headed up US 68 to I-71, and thence to Columbus.


    My friend Cody Buchmann was a gracious host and took me to the Columbus Zoo <Columbus Zoo, 01-16>Their Asian exhibit is particularly fine. I'll let the photos do the talking here:)


    I took a day by myself and drove East on the National Road as far as Zanesville. At the tiny town of Atherton I stopped by the National Road Railroad Museum. The station was closed, and upon further inspection, I found it's only open two hours a week, on Sunday afternoons when they run an excursion train. I searched DeLorme later and found a line running north to Newark, OH. That must be where they go. Got some pictures of their rolling stock, such as it was:) <National Road Railroad Museum 01-03>


    I found a piece of old alignment that passed through the town of Gratiot and took some pictures of the old road and a bridge <National Road 01-04>,and a milestone between Gratiot and Zanesville <National Road 05>


    When I got to Zanesville I drove up to Putnam Park to get a good view of the famous "Y" Bridge Across the Muskingum and Licking Rivers <Zanesville 01, 03>, and a good view of the town too <Zanesville 02>. Then on to downtown for a good ghost sign and St. Nickolas Catholic Church <Zanesville 04-06>.


    On the east side of Zanesville, I found a place called the East End Cafe. It's the only building I've seen with Mail Pouch signs on both sides:) <Zanesville 07, 08>. Right across the street is an old cemetery with a graceful entrance arch <Zanesville 09>. I had considered going on to the National Road Museum, but decided to put it off until another time. I picked up the Interstate and headed back.


    Cody and I took one morning to walk along the Columbus Riverwalk along the Scioto River (which, BTW is pronounced Sigh-oh-ta. Trust me:)) <Columbus Riverwalk 01-04, Downtown Columbus 01-07>. Along the river is a replica of the Santa Maria. <Columbus Riverwalk 02> Teensy little thing:) I wonder if it's really life sized? I was particularly impressed with the Leveque Tower < Columbus Riverwalk 03>, an art deco skyscraper covered with terracotta tiling. There is some concern the tiles may fall off and hurt or kill someone below. Sounds like restoration is in order.


    We crossed the river on the Broad Street Bridge, the one the National Road uses. At one end is a monument to the National Road shaped like one of the mileposts <Downtown Columbus 01-04> . Also on Broad Street was the Palace Theater (in the Leveque Tower) <Downtown Columbus 05> and City Hall <Downtown Columbus, 06, 07>


    Before I had to leave I managed to get a picture of this "Muffler Man" at a service station not far from Cody's apartment:) <Muffler Man?>


    After Columbus I headed south for a couple of days with Kevin Redden and a meeting with Denny Gibson at the Rockin' Robin:) That will be in part 2.

  20. If you will let yourself NOT be in a hurry, and are headed from anywhere east or south towards the Black Hills, Devil's Tower and other points west and



    I've driven this road and can vouch for it's beauty, even if I missed the windflowers. One thing I found a bit unfortunate, though. It follows a railroad and about every 15 minutes or so, there was an eastbound train carrying coal from Wyoming. Wonder if anything in Wyoming well be left?

  21. Wonderful stuff! Thanks for sharing! I found the clip of the old covered bridge quite poignant since it's no longer open, but I feel privileged to have seen what it was like riding through it.


    I've got a mess of videotape of travels between 1991 and 2001 that I edited and put on standard VHS tape. Then I bought a combo VCR and DVD burner/player and burned the tapes to DVD. Unfortunately, it's DVD-RW which my computer doesn't recognize:( Otherwise, I'd have a whole raft of goodies from then on Webshots by now.

  22. Again, as a kid, I got the opportunity to travel with my dad from upstate NY into Pennsylvania. I was impressed with the tunnels that the Turnpike traveled through. Some of these are now abandoned.


    Back in 1975, I drove the West Virginia Turnpike and I distinctly remember two tunnels there. Of course, this was when it was still two lanes:) I suspect a major realignment when it went to four lanes.

  23. Back in July of 1921, my grandfather and his sister made a trip out to New York City in his 1918 Dodge to visit some family friends. My dad and one of my aunt's guess that part of the trip had to do with my grandpa visiting a lady friend named "Ida". Although Ida never became my grandma, it'll remain an unsolved mystery what the relationship was there.


    Thanks for sharing! It seems quite fitting for an 86 year old writeup to find it's way here. At least they had pretty decent roads and didn't have to be pulled out of a rut by a farmer and his mule:)

  24. What about you? Where are you dreaming of going next year?





    I'm not sure if I'll be able to do much at all this coming year. Finances have me in a bind. But as for dream trips, here's a few.


    Knoxville to Bristol by US 11E and return by 11W with a couple of days in Bristol. One to visit the "Birthplace of Country Music" museum and one to find and explore Burke's Garden, a mountain cove that the locals call "God's thumb print."


    DHW from Jasper, TN to Nashville, possibly making a side trip to Bell Buckle for the annual RC and Moon Pie festival. Nashville musts are a tour of Ryman Auditorium and the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace. I also want to get pictures of the old L&N station which has been restored and is now an upscale hotel, and Hume Fogg High School which looks like a castle. If it's still there, that is.


    Route 66 from Oklahoma City west.


    Yellowstone NP from Milwaukee via the former US 16. Don't know if I want to mess with the Michigan part of 16. Route hunting in Detroit intimidates me: :(

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